|Intemperance BA XXI by RoMa Craft Tobac|
The Intemperance line of cigars was launched by RoMa Craft Tobac in 2012. RoMa Craft Tobac was launched as a collaboration between Michael Rosales and Skip Martin. This collaboration combined the operations of their two companies, Costa Rican Imports, LLC and Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC. The Intemperance line is made at RoMa Craft Tobac’s own factory in Esteli Nicaragua called Fabrica de NicaSueno. The Intemperance line was launched in two blends, and Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped blend called the Intemperance EC XVIII and a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapped blend called the Intemperance BA XXI. In today’s review we will look at the Intemperance BA XXI cigar. There was a reason why we tagged RoMa Craft Tobac as one of our “Five Boutiques to Watch” at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The Intemperance BA XXI is one outstanding cigar and is an example of why we included these guys on our list.
The name Intemperance is a play on the Temperance Movement in this country. In 1918, a Temperance Movement resulted in the passing of the Volstead Act. This became the 18th Amendment to the Constitution which resulted in prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition would be repealed with the 21st Ammendment. In a cigar conversation we had with Martin at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show, he explained that there was a tobacco component to the Prohibition movement. While they successfully banned alcohol, tobacco was still mainstream. Today the tables have been reversed and alcohol is mainstream while tobacco is more taboo. This reversal and how it plays into the cigar’s name is summed up on the RoMa Craft Tobac’s website:
In the last sixty years, this anti-smoking movement has grown in influence and power much in the same way the temperance movement before it grew. We believe that it is well past time to initiate our own modern intemperance movement.
The Intemperance EC XVIII references the 18th Amendment and the wrapper used (EC = Ecuadorian Connecticut). The Intemperance BA XXI references the 21st Amendment and the wrapper used (BA = Brazilian Arapiraca).
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Intemperance BA XXI and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Intemperance BA XXI is a multi-national blend consisting of tobaccos from four countries:
Wrapper: Brazil Arapiraca
Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Republic
The Intemperance BA XXI is currently available in four sizes. The sizes are geared more toward smaller size smokes.
The Intrigue (Petito): 4 x 46
The Avarice, (Short Robusto): 4 1/2 x 52
The Envy (Short Perfecto): 5 x 50
The Ambition (Belicoso): 5 1/2 x 54
For this cigar experience, I went with the Avarice vitola – the short robusto size. The Intemperance BA XXI Avarice’s Araparica wrapper has a coffee bean color. It has an oily sheen and is smooth in texture. I found that the Avarice had a much smoother texture than the Envy vitola (the short perfecto).
At the footer of each of the Intemperance BA, it has an exposed binder, and then some exposed filler. Martin explained there were two reasons for this: First because Arapiraca wrapper is sensitive to humidity, the wrapper would actually shrink. They found the best way to work with this wrapper would be to let it age before cutting the foot (thus the shrinkage). Secondly, by exposing the binder and then the filler, it allows the cigar enthusiast to experience those parts of the blend without the dominant flavor component of the wrapper.
|Toward the foot, you can see the exposed
binder and filler tobaccos.
The Intemperance BA XXI is an unbanded cigar.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I opted to go with a straight cut to remove the cap of the cigar. I then proceeded to begin the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided a mix of pepper, cocoa, and coffee. Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to the Intemperance BA XXI to be satisfactory. At this point it was time to fire up the Intemperance BA XXI and see what the overall cigar experience would deliver.
Once I lit the Intemperance BA XXI, I paid particular attention to the early smoke with the exposed binder and filler. I definitely had a burst of pepper to start. Once the wrapper was reached, notes of unsweetened chocolate emerged as the pepper settled down. With this case, this seemed like a classic pepper blast to start a cigar.
As the cigar experience of the Intemperance BA XXI moved through the first five percent, the unsweetened chocolate and pepper remained, but I also detected notes of oak and a slight sweetness (that I couldn’t come up with an analogy for). There was no dominant flavor at this point.
By the ten percent mark, the flavor profile began to take shape. The primary notes were coffee and oak. The pepper notes were secondary while the unknown sweetness was tertiary.
In the second third, a chicory flavor emerged in the background. While chicory tends to be on the bitter side, I didn’t find this to be a negative, but actually a flavor that countered the other flavors nicely. The oak notes moved to the background. For that second third, the flavor profile was: coffee (primary); oak/chicory/pepper (secondary); and the unknown sweetness (tertiary).
In the last third, the pepper notes overtook the coffee notes. The coffee notes were now in a supporting role and the chicory could still be detected in background. The end of the cigar was still quite flavorful. The spice never got overwhelming. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Intemperance BA XXI scored very well in the area of burn and draw. The burn line remained straight from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups. The ash did not have much flaking and was on the firm side. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
As for the draw, it had a touch of resistance to it – which I consider to be an ideal draw. Overall, this made the Intemperance BA XXI an enjoyable smoke to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Intemperance BA XXI is not an overpowering cigar, but one that provides just the right amount of kick. I assessed this cigar as being on the upper end of medium strength for most of the cigar experience. Toward the very end, the Intemperance BA XXI does cross into the medium to full strength zone. The depth of the flavors follow a similar pattern. The Intemperance BA XXI is a medium to full-bodied cigar for most of the smoking experience – before crossing into full-bodied toward the end. Throughout the smoking experience, the body does have a slight advantage over the strength here.
The Intemperance BA XXI is an outstanding cigar. In my opinion it ranks as some of RoMa Craft Tobac’s best work to date. This blend seemed to click very well in the short robusto format. This cigar has some outstanding flavors and top-notch construction. Whether a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast, if someone is looking to explore RoMa Craft Tobac for the first time – this is the perfect cigar to sample. It delivers a nice flavorful experience right in the medium strength range. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I will be smoking again.
Strength: Medium (Medium to Full at end)
Body: Medium to Full (Full at end)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.